Onychomycosis in patients with multiple sclerosis: prevalence, clinical description, mycological, and dermoscopic study in a Mexican population.

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating disease related to HLA-DR8. Susceptibility to onychomycosis has been found in Mexican mestizos with HLA-DR8. The frequency of onychomycosis in this neurological disease is unknown.To determine the frequency of onychomycosis and its clinical, mycological, and dermoscopic characteristics in patients with MS in comparison with the general population.Observational, cross-sectional, case-control study in patients with MS from October 2017 to February 2018. Age, gender, MS type, and time of progression from diagnosis to date and baseline treatment were collected after signed informed consent. A neurological exploration and clinical examination of fingernails and toenails for onychomycosis was conducted. Mycological and dermoscopic studies of the infected nails were performed on patients with clinical diagnosis of onychomycosis. A healthy control group was taken for each case (1:1), paired by age and gender.The frequency of onychomycosis in patients with MS was higher than the healthy population (32% vs. 26%, P = 0.509). A higher frequency of non-dermatophyte fungi was found, although it was not statistically significant. The clinical manifestations and dermoscopic findings in patients with MS and onychomycosis were similar to those of the general population.The frequency of onychomycosis in patients with MS is slightly higher than that of the general population. A possible association of HLA-DR8 as a susceptibility factor for onychomycosis is proposed. The etiology of opportunistic fungi in MS patients with onychomycosis may be related to immunosuppressive treatment.


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Authors: Carlos D Sánchez-Cárdenas, Diana Vega-Sánchez, Sarah B Vargas-Santana, José Flores-Rivera, Roberto Arenas, Teresa Corona

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